Mozambique + 1 more

Cabo Delgado | Mozambique Protection Cluster – Palma Flash Update #1 (5 April 2021)

Situation Report
Originally published
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  • Absolute majority of the newly arrived are women and children.

  • Thousands of individuals in Palma are still in need of access to safer areas.

  • Reports indicate difficulties in accessing to asylum and refoulement of Mozambicans.

  • Emergency Protection Units (EPUs) activated, combining joint action of members of the cluster to rapidly support urgent needs.


The recent attacks by Non-State Armed Groups (NSAG) to Palma has severely affected the local population, with reports of grave human rights violations, causing forced displacement. Reports collected by members of the Protection Cluster indicate that safe exit routes from Palma are almost non-existent. Road access to Tanzania (north) or Nangade District (west) are not deemed safe, forcing a difficult attempt through alternative routes in the countryside through the bush and forests. IDPs that reached Pemba sought safety at Afungi peninsula. Even so, IDPs reported that the NSAG specifically targeted civilians on-the-run, forcing them to hide, resulting in a long journey, which for some took days, until reaching Afungi, still considered safe. Once there, thousands of IDPs wait to be able to enter the area, in the hopes of being evacuated to reach safety in the south of Cabo Delgado.

The great majority is still there waiting for a possible evacuation. IDPs have arrived in safer areas of the province, such as Pemba and Mueda and reports also indicate cross-border movement into Tanzania; however, so far it is not possible to confirm numbers and the conditions of their arrivals in the neighboring country. In Pemba, IDPs arrived on boats from companies operating in Afungi Peninsula or on evacuation flights. Among the main protection issues identified, were family separation, unaccompanied minors, gender-based violence, single-women head of household with no family links in the areas of refuge, elderly, disabled and traumatized individuals in need of psychological support.


Emergency Protection Units (EPUs): the Protection Cluster has set up EPUs, which are groups composed by different partners (UN agencies and NGOs) with focus in four specific protection areas: general protection, gender-based violence (GBV), Child Protection and Mental Health and Psycho-Social Support (MHPSS). The units identify and refer cases for immediate prioritization and follow up. The units can be activated in less than one hour, allowing a coordinated and simultaneous presence in different sites. The EPUs are divided in two lines of response: (i) direct assistance to displaced individuals at the time of their arrival to Pemba, and (ii) case management and provision of services. The EPUs, in coordination with local authorities, supported the prioritization of vulnerable cases prior and after disembarking on boat and flight arrivals, identifying, and referring cases of individuals with specific needs, transporting to temporary accommodation centers and later working on case management and service provision. UNHCR, UNICEF, Save the Children, IOM, UNFPA, AVSI, Caritas and FAMOD worked in this initial phase of the response.